Website Development 101: How to Create a Free Website, a Step-by-Step Guide
Have you always wanted to know how to create a website, and how to do it for free? Well, you have come across the right blog post. Here is a step by step guide to help you create a free website, without knowing coding and tough programming languages or even designing.
The level of expertise you need: Beginner
The time needed to setup a website: 30 minutes approx.
The final product: A full website with your own domain.
As a leading website development and design company, we know how some people build their sites and how it can sometimes go overhead expensive. You can definitely cut that down. But still you need to know when you are availing something free, definitely, you are compromising on the customization part. But as a beginner, it is okay, once you are ready to create a professional website you can approach us for availing our top-notch website design and development services.
So let’s begin…
What you will find in the article other than a guide on how to create a website from scratch is:
- Getting a website hosting plan and register a domain name
- Setting up a website through a web host
- How to design your website
- Some finishing touches by adding content
There are many ways to create a website, and there are many best free website builder available in marketing. Some of the most popular ones are WordPress, Wix, Drupal, Joomla and more.
So, where were we? You can choose to create your website using the free tools or you can choose to code your website, but we don’t recommend you that because there are high chances the end result will not be as desired. Secondly, too much time taking.
Choosing the Right Website Builder and Web Design
Here are some of the facts to help you make an informed choice:
- WordPress (free) 52%
- Wix (paid) 7%
- Joomla (free) 4%
- Progress Sitefinity (free) 4%
- SquareSpace (paid) 4%
- Weebly (paid) 2%
Since, WordPress is the most common platform to build a website, here is how to create a website from scratch on WordPress:
First things first, the reason other than scalability people choose WordPress is because it is absolutely free.
It is one of the easiest platforms and is flexible enough to tap your needs initially as a small business, with minimum customization needs, online shopping and so on….
Other than that
- It is a lot easier to learn, CSS and PHP alone take about 6 months to master. You can choose to create a website using html, but what if you have to create a full-fledged website in a day or two?
- It is highly unlikely that you will find a free tool that builder-friendly.
- Of course, if you want to create an ecommerce platform you are likely to go for Drupal and Joomla, but they are not as user-friendly.
In the coming few sessions we will definitely give you a comparative study on WordPress Vs Drupal or Joomla. But, yes you can choose Drupal or Joomla too.
Step One: Getting Website Hosting Plan and domain registration
To get started you need two things:
- Domain Name (yoursitename.com)
- Web Hosting ( connecting your website to the internet)
How to do domain registration?
For domain registering of course you can use Bluehost which is a reliable web hosting and domain registering source. Or you can choose HostGator, Hostinger, SiteGround, GoDaddy, and others.
Some of the hosting sites also offer you free hosting in your first year, the best way to choose is by efficiency checking them on the basis of security they provide, traffic they can handle, where their servers are and of course if they are coming in your budget or not.
Also, if you have already done the web hosting and domain registration you can move on to the second step. And if not:
Here is how you sign up with web hosting provider and domain registration.
1. Got to the web hosting choice of your choice.
2. Choose the Website hosting plan of your choice.
At this point, you will be taken to the page where you can select from the different hosting plans of your choice. That is mostly;
- Customized Plus
Just browse through the details and make a choice; of course, customized plans are a bit costlier.
3. Choose a Domain Name
Some tips here:
- Choose a name that matches your company name
- You can choose your name too
- Avoid non-famous extensions like .agency, .marketing, .pizza blah blah blah.
4. Fill your Account Details
Create an account, enter your information, and hit “create account”. Mostly it covers your name, last name, country, street address, phone number, zip code, email address.
Secondly, enter your payment details and continue.
5. Check your package information, and sweep to the final step
Choose the length of time you need the domain registration
Domain privacy protection is important because you cannot let someone know you are the owner of the domain.
6. Set Password, log into the hosting site
Post paying for the domain registration, you can create your password.
Step Two: Finally the Website!
Once you are past domain registration and hosting, you are ready to create a free website.
So to design and develop a website, the first thing you need to do is to install WordPress to your domain.
Installing WordPress is easy
You have two ways to do that,
- Create your website with WordPress in the one-click installation process.
Mostly you will find a one-click installation integrated to most of the hosting sites if not.
Follow the steps for the same
- Log in to your hosting account.
- Go to control panel.
- Find the WordPress Icon or Website Icon
- Choose the domain where you need to install the new website
- Hit install now button, access your new WordPress Website
And if there wasn’t any option, use the second method.
2. The Manual Install method, you need to download it manually.
Step Three: Design Your Website
Now after installing WordPress to your domain, you are ready to start designing your website. Designing your website is the way you want your users to see your website.
Now customization is very important to stand apart. And to achieve the same, you need to find a theme- there are free WordPress themes available, somewhere about 1500+ professionally designed website themes.
Now, when we suggested WordPress, it was because of many reasons including that the themes are absolutely free and highly customizable.
Step Four: Add Content to the Website
Post the theme installation, now we can get on with the content creation. Let’s quickly run through some of the basics:
1. Adding & Edition of the pages
- Add “Services” pages, “About us”. Follow the steps:
- 1. Look along the sidebar in the WordPress Dashboard for “Pages” followed by “Add New”
- 2. It is more like a screen you see when you use Microsoft Word. Add text, images and more to build the pages of your choice. Save the work done once you are satisfied.
2. Adding pages to the menu
- Add new pages to be linked to your navigation bar.
- Save any changes you have made to the page by clicking “update.”
- Click “Appearance” -> “Menus” in the sidebar of the WordPress Dashboard
- Find the page you created and add it to the list by clicking the checkbox next to it and then “Add to Menu”.
3. Adding and editing posts
Blogs are an important part of any website, infact, they are one of the holy trinity. Follow our another blog on digital marketing to understand it closely.
If you are deciding on having a blog section on your website, “Posts” will be where you will turn next. Create the categories, since it becomes easier for a reader to filter the blog search.
In WordPress it is easy to add the blogs. To create a blog, choose the category name your blog, and add it your menu and start making posts.
Follow the steps:
- Create a new category by going to “Posts > Categories”
- For adding a blog, “Posts > Add New”. Writing your blog post/ paste it, add the right category for it.
Once you’ve created your category, simply add it to the menu, and you’re in business!
Step Five: Customization & Endless Tweaks…
1. Changing Your Title and Tagline
Writing content for your website needs a little technical knowledge. Your website is a marketing tool too and to rank better on the Searches you need to add keywords you are going to target so as to rank better in organic searches.
Choose a title that clearly and creatively pitches your website visitors about your services and products. For example, since we are a digital marketing and communication company our home page adorns the title, “Powerful Brands are founded on powerful digital communication. Are you ready to take that leap?”
They are important to support your Title. We did it by “Leap forth with Orionators- the best digital marketing company in India”- pitching and supporting line.
Change the title and tagline on your website, go to “Settings > General” and fill your requirements as shown below.
2. Disabling Comments for Posts & Pages
If it is a business website, most likely you would want your visitors to not comment on the page.
Here’s how you do it:
- Click “Screen Options” in the top right corner while writing a new page.
- Click the “Discussion” box. The “Allow Comments” box will appear at the bottom.
- Untick “Allow Comments”.
Note: For “By default”
- Go to “Settings > Discussion” and untick “Allow people to post comments on new articles”
3. Setting Up a Static Front Page
A static page is the one that doesn’t change. It is not like a blog at all and will show the same content every time someone comes to your website.
Follow the steps to achieve it:
- Go to “Settings > Reading”
- Choose a static page that you have created. “Front Page” denotes your home page. “Posts page” is the front page of your blog.
Note: By default, WordPress will choose your latest posts and start showing them on your homepage if you do not choose the Front Page.
Step Six: How to Install a Plugin
1. How do I install a new Plugin?
To start adding Plug-ins, go to “Plugins > Add New” and simply start searching.
In WordPress you have over 25,000 different plug-ins, so you’ve got a lot of options.
Once you have chosen a plugin of your choice, just click “Install”.
Tips: Some of the important plugins are: Contact Form, Yoast SEO for WP, Google Analytics.
Your Website is ready to launch!